Nem teúdas, nem manteúdas: História das Mulheres e Direito na capitania da Paraíba (Brasil, 1661−1822)

Luisa Stella de Oliveira Coutinho Silva

Global Perspectives on Legal History 15
Frankfurt am Main: Max Planck Institute for European Legal History 2020. XIV, 380 p.
Online version: Open Access (PDF-Download, License: Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 International)
Print version: 25,70 € (Print on Demand at ePubli)

ISSN 2196-9752
ISBN 978-3-944773-28-5

eISBN 978-3-944773-29-2

Quotation link of the online version:

This book develops a legal history of colonial women as a methodological approach to studying the women of Paraíba, a captaincy on the northeast coast of Brazil, from the end of the Dutch occupation (1661) to Brazilian independence in 1822. It uses the concept of multiple normativities to analyse dozens of daily life cases from Portuguese and Brazilian archives.

To study women’s everyday normative contexts in a colonial space, the author analyses traditional Ius Commune and Portuguese legal sources from different jurisdictions (including compilations of laws, Roman law, Visigothic influences, canon law and inquisitorial regulations), but also legal doctrines, medical treatises, moralist works and literature to enrich interpretations in women’s history, gender studies, feminist legal theory and legal history. Furthermore, a comparison of the works of Portuguese legislators, jurists, writers and moralists was carried out in order to reveal how these sources from different normative spheres defined and described women.

In order to show the impact of these normative traditions in the colonial Captaincy of Paraíba, the book examines how the administration, the application of justice and the resolution of conflicts were carried out not only by the secular administration, the Church and the Inquisition, but also by newly created institutions and practices specific to Paraíba, which were the result of adapting the law of the metropole to local circumstances.

To do so, the study focuses on normativities of a more pragmatic character, analysing archival documents portraying women’s daily life situations relating to both secular and religious jurisdictions. The issues touched upon include marriage and other family formations, single parenthood, concubinage and cohabitation; different experiences of motherhood, filiation and illegitimacy, loss of virginity in cases of rape, and widowhood; as well as consanguinity, bigamy, adultery and divorce. The legal and normative experiences of married women are also compared with those of women living in monasteries, houses of retreat (recolhimentos) or prisons, and with those of prostitutes. The book examines questions of women’s ownership of goods and land, and whether adherence to a certain religion influenced their room for manoeuvre and experiences in normative contexts.

These analyses demonstrate that the law from the metropole neither offered pre-established solutions for women’s daily lives, nor was it applied unchanged in the colony. On the ground, law was dynamic, and the interplay of multiple normativities provided different possibilities that depended on the intersection of women’s condition and status, religion and sexual options, proving that sex and gender categories are not immutable, but, on the contrary, flexible according to the practices of law in colonial Paraíba.


IX Agradecimentos
1 Introdução: Uma História do Direito das Mulheres Coloniais
Capítulo 1
41 Um Portugal transplantado? Normatividades imperiais na capitania da Paraíba
Capítulo 2
93 A vida das mulheres casadas na capitania da Paraíba: vozes femininas e normatividades no Império português
Capítulo 3
193 Promessas frustradas
Capítulo 4
211 As experiências da maternidade
Capítulo 5
231 As possibilidades de uma vida fora do casamento tridentino
Capítulo 6
275 Os espaços de segregação da vida pública
Capítulo 7
295 Desfazendo um vínculo eterno?
Capítulo 8
305 Adquirindo e possuindo: donas de terras e herdeiras
Capítulo 9
321 Religião e cotidiano: as mulheres e a prática do judaísmo na Paraíba
337 Conclusões
351 Fontes e bibliografia
375 About the Author
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